New Delhi: The messaging giant, WhatsApp, recently banned over 20 lakh accounts in India in the month of October 2021. Earlier too, the company had banned over 30.27 lakh Indian accounts for violating its terms of service.
As mandated by the new IT rules in India-Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021- WhatsApp publishes monthly reports on what action it takes in response to grievances received from WhatsApp users in the country.
Notably, WhatsApp has the highest user base in India and also happens to be the largest messaging app in the country- more popular than SMS.
However, recently, the Meta-owned app became a major platform for the spread of misinformation and fake news in India leading to several law and order incidents including riots and to prevent its misuse, WhatsApp took several steps, like promoting users to report issues and also taking measures to alert people about possible fake news and forwarded spam messages.
Even though WhatsApp messages are end-to-end encrypted, it doesn’t mean users can get away with anything as the company keeps track of several meta data. WhatsApp, on its official website, clearly states that it will ban accounts if they find any user violating its “Terms of Service.”
WhatsApp’s “Terms of Service” mentions these 8 things as triggers that may lead to banning of your account. Also, for certain offences, WhatsApp may even provide user’s meta data to the police to take legal action against violators, including arrests.
1. WhatsApp will ban you if you impersonate someone and create a fake account of another person
WhatsApp has clear guidelines against impersonation and will ban the account if it finds out that you have created an account for someone else or have “impersonated someone”.
2. If someone is not on your contact list and you send too many messages to that person then WhatsApp may ban you
If you misuse the messaging platform to spam people who are not in your contact list then WhatsApp may ban your account. WhatsApp will take action if it finds you “involved in sending illegal or impermissible communications such as bulk messaging, auto-messaging, auto-dialing, and the like.”
3. WhatsApp may ban you if you use third-party apps like WhatsApp Delta, GBWhatsApp, WhatsApp Plus, etc
Always use the official WhatsApp app to communicate. WhatsApp doesn’t permit users to communicate using third-party apps like WhatsApp Delta, GBWhatsApp, WhatsApp Plus, etc due to privacy concerns. Using such apps may get you banned from WhatsApp forever.
4. Getting blocked by too many users may lead to your WhatsApp account suspension
If a lot of users block you on WhatsApp then WhatsApp may ban you, irrespective of the fact these people are on your contact list or not. WhatsApp may consider your account as a source of spam messages or fake news if too many users block you.
5. If too many people report against your WhatsApp account then WhatsApp may ban you
If there are a lot of complaints against your WhatsApp account and too many users report against the account then the same may get banned by WhatsApp.
6. WhatsApp will ban people for sending malware or phishing links to users
Sending malware in the form of APK files on Android phones or forwarding dangerous phishing links to users can also get your WhatsApp to intervene and ban your account.
7. Don’t send porn clips, threat or defamatory messages on WhatsApp
WhatsApp clearly states that users will get banned for sharing “illegal, obscene, defamatory, threatening, intimidating, harassing, hateful messages”. Also, sending porn clips on WhatsApp is not allowed.
8. Don’t send fake messages or videos that promote violence on WhatsApp
WhatsApp clearly warns people to stay away from using its platform to harass people or spread hate messages “such as promoting violent crimes, endangering or exploiting children or others, or coordinating harm.”